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Old Mon Mar 29, 2010, 10:46am
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Question for the NCAA Guys RE: Illegal Pitch

This came up in a discussion with a parent of an NCAA pitcher. His daughter was recently called for an illegal pitch because she took a signal from the catcher before stepping on the pitcher's plate.

I know this is perfectly fine in ASA/NFHS ball, so long as the pitcher subsequently takes, or simulates taking, a signal once she does step on the plate. I also understand the intent of the rule is to have the pitcher pause before delivering the pitch, to prevent a quick pitch. And, I know that this rule is often misinterpreted to mean that the pitcher is forbidden from taking a signal anywhere except while on the plate.

The question is this: Is the NCAA rule interpreted exactly the same as for ASA/NFHS? A reading of their rule doesn't make me think it would be. But that doesn't eliminate the possibility that their umpires have been instructed otherwise.
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Old Mon Mar 29, 2010, 11:28am
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For those of you that don't have access to the rule:

Pitching Procedure
10.2 Taking the Signal from the Catcher

10.2.1 Before starting a pitch, the pitcher must comply with the following:

10.2.1.1 Both feet must be on the ground in contact with the pitcher’s
plate and a portion of the pivot foot must be on the top surface of
the pitcher’s plate. Both feet must be within the 24-inch length of the
pitcher’s plate.

10.2.1.2 Hands must be separated.

10.2.1.3 The ball must be held and remain in one hand, either bare or
gloved.

Notes:
1. Rolling (not tossing) the ball is legal as long as contact is maintained with the
hand including the wrist.
2. A ball dropped by the pitcher before her hands have come together and then
separated shall be live and base runner(s) may advance with liability to be put
out.

10.2.1.4 The ball may be held in front of, at the side of or behind the body.

10.2.2 While in this position, the pitcher must take (or simulate taking) a signal
from the catcher.

EFFECT (10.2.1 to 10.2.2)—Illegal pitch. (See Rule 10.8)


I have been told to enforce the rules as written, without discretion. So, to answer your question, no I haven't been instructed otherwise. So, the pitcher you were dicussing should have been called for an IP.
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Old Mon Mar 29, 2010, 11:33am
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Here is the rule:

Quote:
10.2.1 Before starting a pitch, the pitcher must comply with the following:
10.2.1.1 Both feet must be on the ground in contact with the pitcher’s
plate and a portion of the pivot foot must be on the top surface of
the pitcher’s plate. Both feet must be within the 24-inch length of the
pitcher’s plate.
10.2.1.2 Hands must be separated.
126 RULE 10 / PITCHING
10.2.1.3 The ball must be held and remain in one hand, either bare or
gloved.
Notes:
1. Rolling (not tossing) the ball is legal as long as contact is maintained with the
hand including the wrist.
2. A ball dropped by the pitcher before her hands have come together and then
separated shall be live and base runner(s) may advance with liability to be put
out.
10.2.1.4 The ball may be held in front of, at the side of or behind the body.
10.2.2 While in this position, the pitcher must take (or simulate taking) a signal
from the catcher.
EFFECT (10.2.1 to 10.2.2)—Illegal pitch. (See Rule 10.8)
Now, what I am wondering is did dad just think that she was nailed for the IP for taking a signal off of the pitching plate, when in fact she was actually nailed for the failure to take, or simulate taking the signal from the pitching plate? Personally, I don't care when a catcher gets her signal, or from whom, as long as she simulates getting one while on the pitching plate.
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Old Mon Mar 29, 2010, 12:47pm
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I considered that possibility- that the parent had misunderstood why the IP was called. But he was adamant that his kid had paused while actually on the plate and that the umpire specifically told the coach that the IP was called "for taking the signal from behind the plate".

I have access to the NCAA rules and had read them before posting. I understand that their rule says the pitcher can simulate taking a signal while on the plate. So, there really isn't any requirement for the pitcher to take any signal at all, only to pause. And there isn't any rule or penalty listed about taking one before stepping on the plate.

So far, we have one "for" and one "against" the IP for this one!
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Old Mon Mar 29, 2010, 01:06pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MNBlue View Post
For those of you that don't have access to the rule:

Pitching Procedure
10.2 Taking the Signal from the Catcher

10.2.1 Before starting a pitch, the pitcher must comply with the following:

10.2.1.1 Both feet must be on the ground in contact with the pitcher’s
plate and a portion of the pivot foot must be on the top surface of
the pitcher’s plate. Both feet must be within the 24-inch length of the
pitcher’s plate.

10.2.1.2 Hands must be separated.

10.2.1.3 The ball must be held and remain in one hand, either bare or
gloved.

Notes:
1. Rolling (not tossing) the ball is legal as long as contact is maintained with the
hand including the wrist.
2. A ball dropped by the pitcher before her hands have come together and then
separated shall be live and base runner(s) may advance with liability to be put
out.

10.2.1.4 The ball may be held in front of, at the side of or behind the body.

10.2.2 While in this position, the pitcher must take (or simulate taking) a signal
from the catcher.

EFFECT (10.2.1 to 10.2.2)—Illegal pitch. (See Rule 10.8)


I have been told to enforce the rules as written, without discretion. So, to answer your question, no I haven't been instructed otherwise. So, the pitcher you were dicussing should have been called for an IP.
Where is the part that regulates what the pitcher may or may not do PRIOR to taking the pitcher's plate?
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Old Mon Mar 29, 2010, 01:35pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BretMan View Post

The question is this: Is the NCAA rule interpreted exactly the same as for ASA/NFHS? A reading of their rule doesn't make me think it would be. But that doesn't eliminate the possibility that their umpires have been instructed otherwise.
In the Florida Panhandle, we interpret the NCAA ruling as we do ASA and NFHS. As long as she complies with all of the parts of the pitching rule, nothing prevents her from getting a signal prior to stepping on the PP.
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Old Mon Mar 29, 2010, 01:49pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BretMan View Post
I considered that possibility- that the parent had misunderstood why the IP was called. But he was adamant that his kid had paused while actually on the plate and that the umpire specifically told the coach that the IP was called "for taking the signal from behind the plate".

I have access to the NCAA rules and had read them before posting. I understand that their rule says the pitcher can simulate taking a signal while on the plate. So, there really isn't any requirement for the pitcher to take any signal at all, only to pause. And there isn't any rule or penalty listed about taking one before stepping on the plate.

So far, we have one "for" and one "against" the IP for this one!
I think we do have UMPIRE ERROR here, if indeed the IP was
Quote:
"for taking the signal from behind the plate".
.

Maybe the IP was called for:

"for taking 12 seconds to take the signal from behind the plate".

Last edited by HugoTafurst; Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 01:52pm. Reason: being silly
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Old Mon Mar 29, 2010, 01:51pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BretMan View Post
I considered that possibility- that the parent had misunderstood why the IP was called. But he was adamant that his kid had paused while actually on the plate and that the umpire specifically told the coach that the IP was called "for taking the signal from behind the plate".

I have access to the NCAA rules and had read them before posting. I understand that their rule says the pitcher can simulate taking a signal while on the plate. So, there really isn't any requirement for the pitcher to take any signal at all, only to pause. And there isn't any rule or penalty listed about taking one before stepping on the plate.

So far, we have one "for" and one "against" the IP for this one!
One more "against", if literally as stated, no such rule.
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Old Mon Mar 29, 2010, 01:56pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MNBlue View Post
For those of you that don't have access to the rule:

Pitching Procedure
10.2 Taking the Signal from the Catcher

10.2.1 Before starting a pitch, the pitcher must comply with the following:

10.2.1.1 Both feet must be on the ground in contact with the pitcher’s
plate and a portion of the pivot foot must be on the top surface of
the pitcher’s plate. Both feet must be within the 24-inch length of the
pitcher’s plate.

10.2.1.2 Hands must be separated.

10.2.1.3 The ball must be held and remain in one hand, either bare or
gloved.

Notes:
1. Rolling (not tossing) the ball is legal as long as contact is maintained with the
hand including the wrist.
2. A ball dropped by the pitcher before her hands have come together and then
separated shall be live and base runner(s) may advance with liability to be put
out.

10.2.1.4 The ball may be held in front of, at the side of or behind the body.

10.2.2 While in this position, the pitcher must take (or simulate taking) a signal
from the catcher.

EFFECT (10.2.1 to 10.2.2)—Illegal pitch. (See Rule 10.8)


I have been told to enforce the rules as written, without discretion. So, to answer your question, no I haven't been instructed otherwise. So, the pitcher you were dicussing should have been called for an IP.
As described in the original question, which rule was broken?
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Old Mon Mar 29, 2010, 03:31pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HugoTafurst View Post
As described in the original question, which rule was broken?

"...for taking the signal from behind the plate."

I wasn't there and I trust that what the PU called is what he believes happened.

True, F1 can take or simulate the taking of a sign on the pitcher's plate, but apparently that isn't what happened based on the call and the explanation.

Why are we believing daddy's version when we don't have the PU's version?
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Old Mon Mar 29, 2010, 04:39pm
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I'm not really asking anyone to believe one version or the other. I already allowed for the fact that maybe something was "lost in the translation", since I was getting a second hand account of the call. I tried getting all the information I could and tried to make sure I had an accurate account of what happened before posting.

All that is really irrelevant to my question. The question is "Does NCAA interpret this the same as does ASA/NFHS?", not "Who's account should you believe?".
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Old Mon Mar 29, 2010, 04:57pm
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My question would be how does the umpire know from where she was taking a signal?

I don't care how it is interpreted, until the umpire can answer this question, s/he shouldn't be making such a call.
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Old Mon Mar 29, 2010, 05:21pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MNBlue View Post
"...for taking the signal from behind the plate."
That's the point...
There is no rule aginst taking a signal from behind the plate...
If the umpire called that anytime BEFORE the pitcher's hands came together, he was dead wrong.
If he called it anythime after, he mis-stated the offense.

BRETMAN: to answer your question in a word: YES
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Old Mon Mar 29, 2010, 06:40pm
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While searching through the NCAA web site for an interpretation on this, I came across a "Ask the Expert" section, headed by one Dee Abrahamson. I sent her an email with this question, figuring that I probably wouldn't hear anything back. I was sure that the NCAA folks have better things to do with their time!

To my surprise, I received a reply this evening.

"You are absolutely correct...she can take as many signals as she wants BUT must take, or simulate taking, the last one once positioned on the pitcher's plate.
Hope you can pass that along to her.

Dee Abrahamson

Senior Associate Athletic Director/SWA
Northern Illinois University
Convocation Center Suite 200
NCAA Softball Secretary Rules Editor"


That works for me!

Last edited by BretMan; Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 06:47pm.
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Old Mon Mar 29, 2010, 07:05pm
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Same thing Emily said.

Paul
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